Chad Colton

Chad Colton


Praised as a “go to attorney for bet-the-company commercial litigation” by Chambers USA, Chad Colton has an outstanding record of courtroom victories. He has taken 24 cases to trial across the country—from Portland, to Atlanta, to Los Angeles—making him one of the most experienced commercial trial lawyers of his tenure. Clients and market sources reported to Chambers that Chad is a “great communicator and strategist” who is “incredibly bright.”

Chad serves as lead trial counsel in complex, high-stakes business and technology litigation. He has represented a wide range of clients—both as plaintiffs and defendants—including Fortune 500 companies, startups, and entrepreneurs. While he often handles high-profile litigation, many clients call on him to resolve sensitive shareholder and partnership disputes for closely-held and family-owned businesses.

In the tech industry, Chad litigates trade secret and intellectual property cases involving software, e-commerce, and other innovations. He previously served as the chair of the Oregon State Bar Technology Law Section and leads the firm’s Software and Technology Litigation Group.

Chad’s trial work includes jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations in cases involving trade secrets, business torts, contracts, intellectual property, non-competition agreements, and fiduciary duty. His experience and enthusiasm for trying cases often leads to settlement from a position of strength. Some of his representative cases include:

  • Opal Labs Inc. v. Sprinklr, Inc. (Oregon): Lead trial counsel for plaintiff Opal Labs, Inc. in the largest trade secret jury trial in Oregon history. The dispute involved allegations of software theft and espionage by Opal’s competitor. After a multi-week trial, the jury returned unanimous verdicts for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of the parties’ confidentiality agreements. (See article here.) On the eve of a second trial, Sprinklr paid a large, eight-figure settlement to Opal.
  • Boy Scouts of America abuse litigation (Oregon and Guam): Lead defense counsel for BSA in over 175 cases in Oregon and Guam.
  • Hardy v. Hardy (Oregon): Lead trial counsel in multiple trials in a partnership dispute over control of the family company and the theft of company assets. Secured full control of the company and the return of assets.
  • Power Buying Dealers v. Boyd Coffee Co (California): Co-lead trial counsel for defendant Boyd Coffee in a federal jury trial in Los Angeles involving claims for breach of contract over a distribution agreement. Obtained full defense verdict.
  • McKay v. McKay (Oregon): Represented the plaintiff in claims against partners and family members for embezzlement and for the breakup of a large, 150-year-old family farm. Obtained a multimillion-dollar judgment for damages and attorney fees, plus the return of stolen farm property.
  • Royal Merchant Holdings, Inc. v. Traeger Grills (Ohio): Represented Traeger Grills in Ohio contract and trade secret case involving electronic payment processing. Obtained full dismissal of all claims against Traeger through a series of motions.
  • Parks v. Progressive Direct Insurance Co. (Nevada): Defended Progressive in a class action involving medical payment coverage. Obtained summary judgment against all claims before class certification.
  • Harry & David Corp. v. IBM (Oregon): Represented Harry & David in claims involving IBM’s website and e-commerce software. The case resolved shortly after convincing a federal judge that Harry & David had a viable claim for fraud against IBM.

In addition to his litigation practice, Chad spends extensive time serving his community. He is currently a member of the board of directors for The Classroom Law Project, which provides civics education and mock trial programs to students. Chad is fluent in Spanish and serves as the chair of the board for Quechua Benefit, a non-profit that runs a school and creates health initiatives for children in the Peruvian highlands. He also serves as a board member and the president of Up & Out, which provides housing and living services for adults with developmental disabilities.

  • Recognition, Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2021 – present; Up and Coming, 2017 – 2019
  • Best Lawyer, Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Super Lawyer, Oregon Super Lawyers, 2020 – present; Rising Star, 2009 – 2019
  • Board of Directors, Oregon Association of Defense Counsel, 2021; Chair, Commercial Litigation Section, 2018 – present
  • Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar Corporate Counsel Section, 2021
  • Chair, Oregon State Bar Technology Law Section, 2014; Executive Committee, 2009 – 2018
  • Executive Committee, Oregon State Bar International Law Section, 2015 – present; Chair, 2017
  • Board of Directors, Classroom Law Project, 2019 – present
  • Board Chair, Quechua Benefit, 2018 – present; Board of Directors, 2015 – present
  • Board of Directors and President, Up & Out, Inc., 2008 – present
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Member, Federal Bar Association
  • Member, Multnomah Bar Association
  • Multi-law International Academy, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 2010
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, 2008
  • First Place, Lewis & Clark Law School Mock Trial Competition, 2004
  • Best Oral Advocate, Lewis & Clark Law School Appellate Moot Court Competition, 2003
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • U.S. District Court, District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Lewis & Clark Law School — J.D. 2006, cum laude
  • Brigham Young University — B.A. 2003
Chad Colton on how to turn on a dime
Chad Colton

1455 SW Broadway, Suite 1900
Portland, OR 97201 - 503-295-3085

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